Fortnite CEO Labels Loot Boxes In Video Games As Gambling

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Despite the reliance of its contemporaries on loot boxes (cosmetic-only or otherwise) to turn an extra profit, Fortnite – somewhat surprisingly, given its free-to-play nature and scores of unlockables – has never deemed their inclusion necessary. Epic Games has never explicitly stated why it decided to go against the grain in that regard, though thanks to recent comments made by company CEO Tim Sweeney, the reasons for their absence no longer remains a mystery.

Similarly to increasing government legislation deeming them as such, Sweeney revealed during a recent speech at this year’s DICE summit that he considers the monetization model to be a form of gambling. As per The Hollywood Reporter, Sweeney told attendees during his keynote speech:

We have to ask ourselves, as an industry, what we want to be when we grow up. Do we want to be like Las Vegas, with slot machines…or do we want to be widely respected as creators of products that customers can trust?

Epic may seemingly have absolutely no intention of ever adding loot boxes to Fortnite, then, but what of the wider industry? Sweeney believes that in the future ahead, more and more big-name publishers will move away from loot boxes, preferring instead to use other forms of monetization. To Sweeney’s credit, it already appears as if such a shift is taking place, with Call of Duty publisher Activision having opted to omit loot boxes from the series’ latest installment in favor of the increasingly popular Season/Battle Pass model popularized by, you guessed it – Fortnite.

“We should be very reticent of creating an experience where the outcome can be influenced by spending money,” Sweeney continues, adding “Loot boxes play on all the mechanics of gambling except for the ability to get more money out in the end.”

Will Sweeney’s respected position in the industry be cause enough to turn publishers wholesale off the idea of loot boxes? Let us know what you think in the usual place below!

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